Effective Introductory Communication

Tips from Member Panel and the Council on How to Present Your Introductory Communication, Elevator Pitch or Sales Pitch

Tips from Boeing

1. Don’t start with “I’m an MBE…” or “You need to do business with me because I’m a minority business…”

2. Start with information you learned about Boeing

  • Example: “You know what, I just had a chance to listen to the Boeing Earning Statement and I have a solution for the XYZ that I heard might be a challenge for you guys…”

3. Take the time to listen

4. State how your products/ services might be a good fit

5. Express your interest to discuss how you can provide solutions

6. Know that the procurement agent may become your point of entry to other agents (the right person)

7. Innovation resonates well with procurement agents

8. Do not show up until you are ready

  • Make sure that you have a working website
  • Make sure that you have consistent messaging/branding

Tips from SDOT

1. Start with what the department need is (based on information that you researched, learned or heard)

  • Example: "I know that you need…"
  • Example: "I know that SDOT just passed the new Move Seattle program…

2. Ask a question that is related to what the department needs

  • Ask a question that is targeted
  • Ask relevant and immediate
  • Know the right questions

3. Bring it with how you fit into what they need

  • Move the conversation in a way that is very fruitful
  • Convey most innovative project or experience
  • Provide an example that highlights the experience

    Tips from Starbucks

    1. Referrals are appreciated

    • If you know someone who can provide what they need, please feel free to recommend them
    • If you know someone they did business with, mention it
    • Show alignment with their mission and values

    2. State how you are a good fit to a specific project that you know they have

    3. Go for authentic and genuine moments of connection

    • Be transparent
    • Be authentic
    • Do your research on who you are meeting but keep it appropriate and professional
    • Know that there is a proper place and time for business
    • Always keep it a positive experience

    4. Tell a compelling story

    • Avoid overselling
    • Know that your performance with other contracts/companies may also affect their image

    Additional Tips from the Council

    Includes information from Q&A

    1. Genuine commitment produces results

    • It doesn’t always happen overnight
    • Some conversations can even last 3-5 years to establish

    2. “Leave behind” pieces help keep the impression

    • Quality is key
    • Acts like an oversized business card
    • Tagline
    • Must fit your strategy

    3. Create a framework that is consistent across all communications

    • Capabilities statement
    • Introductory communication
    • Website
    • Other media/materials representing your company

    4. Things to remember: Be...

    • Genuine
    • Authentic
    • Innovative
    • Appropriate (the right setting)
    • Relevant
    • Memorable
    • Persistent (but don’t be too persistent)